Burkina Faso is the seventh poorest country in the world, according to the United Nations. An estimated 1.25 million children under 14 – some as young as five – are active workers. Many are forced to work up to 18-hour days, seven days a week. Children working in the cotton industry are exposed to chemicals and pesticides, while those in the gold mining industry must break rocks, carry heavy loads and work with dangerous chemicals such as mercury.
Our Reducing Child Labor through Education and Services program works to eliminate child labor in Burkina Faso’s gold mining and cotton industries. We’re educating families and employers about the dangers of child labor and supporting related social services such as child counseling. Our program also delivers alternative livelihood opportunities for families whose very survival had depended upon the income of their children. Lastly, we’re partnering with the government, private sector and Burkina Faso’s largest cotton union to create a system that will monitor and prevent child labor.
The program will help:
- Remove 4,000 child workers from the labor force and enroll them in transitional schooling
- Enroll 6,000 children at-risk for child labor in school
- 1,000 families secure safe, alternative livelihoods
Sustainable Development Goals Addressed
Funder: United States Department of Labor